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Identify and compare the main codes and conventions of two television documentaries and explain what effects they have on the presentation of the subject matter of the programmes.

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Introduction

Identify and compare the main codes and conventions of two television documentaries and explain what effects they have on the presentation of the subject matter of the programmes. I have chosen to study a stag hunting documentary "Killing with Kindness" and the docusoap "Faking It". These two documentaries are very different from each other in some aspects but similar in others. This makes them fairly easy to compare. One is a docusoap and the other is a classic nature/wildlife documentary. Although there are the main and obvious contrasts they both follow the guidelines a documentary should. They both tell a good story and this is vital when targeting wide audiences. Both documentaries are aiming to develop the audiences knowledge, Faking it aims to inform people of a certain character while killing with kindness aims to inform people of a situation. During both documentaries they reach a confrontation, which climaxes and resolves. In Faking It this is when there is a question over whether or not the main character can fake their way through the situation. In Killing With Kindness it is when both sides of the argument are questioned and the discussion becomes heated. Both documentaries present the subject they are centring their documentary on very differently. Stag hunting takes a formal approach and we can see this in the type of music and camera angles used to introduce the different points of view. ...read more.

Middle

When woody gets on a horse for the first time and attempts to ride it the music changes to a comical tune, which mocks his inability to ride a horse. The narrator gives us a little background information on woody. The narrator is male and has a posh upper class tone to his voice, this tone fits in with the class of people who play polo and as the docusoap progresses you become more aware of this. The narrator seems to be an informative man but as I watched I felt he was trying to show us the bad points of both Woody and the polo players. The way in which he narrates is different from conventional documentaries because he gives his opinion this type of narrating gives us no room to make up our own minds and can make people feel pressured into making a decision. Throughout woody's first match the narrator uses a condescending tone and the match is accompanied by a light-hearted non-digetic sound. This gives us the feeling that the match woody was playing in was not serious. Later on in the program we are introduced to the people who will be teaching woody his polo skills. His aim is to play in a match of polo and fool the world-class judges. The music used to introduce the polo players is classical, this gives us the impression they are posh people with a lot of money. ...read more.

Conclusion

The title Killing with kindness immediately gets us involved with the documentary. It leaves the decision to us as to whether or not we choose to support the views of people for the sport and those against. The title faking it gives us a less serious view of the documentary and this can be reflected back into the type of documentary it is. The people who are interviewed for their views on stag hunting do not look into the camera they look straight past to the interviewer. This makes the viewers feel as thought they are certain of their views and aren't giving them to become a television star. This is less obtrusive for the viewer and the views are more suggestive rather than compulsory. The text of this film is informative and wouldn't appeal to a large audience like faking it would. This type of documentary would interest people who are of a specific class and age. However nowadays the debate for stag hunting has widened and maybe more people would be interested. The camera angles of the stags up on the hill are used to close the documentary and sad music is played which could be seen persuasive. The people who have discussed their views are heard re-reading what they have said and this leaves us with the big final decision. ...read more.

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